Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Thank you for working to preserve history
By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Sept. 11, 2012 at 4:11 a.m.
Our history is not something we should take lightly. Who our ancestors were and the choices they made during their lives helped determine who we are today.
But often pieces of our history are left alone and neglected. But this was not the case with the Matagorda Island Lighthouse, which has stood on the northern edge of the island since 1852.
The people of Matagorda have shown their appreciation for this important piece of the island's history since its construction. It has survived an attempt to blow it up in the Civil War, then a total dismantling to keep it out of Union hands. It was rebuilt after the end of the war.
Then in the 1990s, the Coast Guard decided to close the lighthouse because of budget cuts. But residents worked together and gathered enough money to put the lighthouse back to work in 1999, then fully restored it in 2004.
We are impressed to see the residents of Matagorda County stepping up to take care of this 160-year-old lighthouse. There are many who might see these efforts as wasted or futile. But we are happy these people understand the importance of historical places and what they can teach us.
We would especially like to thank the San Antonio Bay Foundation, which donated $9,000 at the end of August to help repaint the lighthouse with a special black paint that is designed to prevent rust. We also wish to thank the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and others who contributed to the upkeep of this landmark.
As the people of Matagorda County know, taking care of a historic site is a continual process, and we hope the community will still be able to take care of the lighthouse for future generations to enjoy and explore. And we encourage the community to find a way to teach the next generations of the importance of this landmark to the area's history. The lighthouse is not just important to preserve for today. It is also relevant to future Texans, and we hope it will be there for them.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.